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Dooley 7, Us 3, Sacramento 3, The City 3, O'brien 3, Kevin 3, San Francisco 2, To Do 1, San Diego 1, Canada Or Europe 1, Excelsior 1, Hank 1, Safeway 1, Regina 1, Yee Riley 1, Dwight 1, Tess Wellborn 1, Joe 1, David Pilpa 1, Marina Safeway 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    December 12, 2012
    12:30 - 1:00am PST  

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i live in the southeast sector of the city. my impression is that we are not in a convenience zone, because there is no supermarket, excluding a 7-eleven that meets the criteria of the revenue mark. so i think it might have been answered, but i'm not clear. all of those small businesses, all of those conveniences stores, do they have to pay the $100 or they are not in a convenience zone? >> actually the southeast sector and the whole eastside of the city is served by scrapyards and existing metal recyclers. >> okay. >> so they can establish a zone there and that creates nearby what is called "nearby convenience." that kind of exempts the supermarkets. >> okay. >> so you are okay there. say you have got this kind of odd schizophrenia with lots of things over on 3rd street, nothing over on the west side and the north side. but that is why you are okay
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there in terms of providing recycling. >> okay. >> and commissioners, just for your reference in the back of your binder is a google map of all the recycling centers in the city. the blue ones are the existing centers and the salmon-colored ones that are ones that are recently no longer existing or planned to be existing? >> okay. commissioner dwight? >> to me it sounds like an innovation opportunity in a city that provides innovation and ecology and the component through some kind of notification, some mobile application for arranging the people who have the goods to those that want to collect it. and it seems like it's something that we have the opportunity to perhaps take a leadership position on in
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recommending to sacramento. have you all talked to recology about what their view of this whole thing is? >> they understand the problem. they run into the largest buybacks, one at pier 96 on the port and the one at tunnel road and they used to operate seven or eight other ones. they want to see the material handled. it's sort of there is an old garbage guy adage that you want to get your hands on everything and keep it, but they understand that their major role is providing the kind of background coverage for everything. as you were pointing out earlier, this is valuable material that picks up and moves on it's own. >> right. >> and that could mean an advantage for us in terms of that material not having to be paid for and carried by the very expensive systems. >> it would be a collaboration where you create a multi-tiered
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distribution system, where it ends up ultimately there, but someone makes something at each step of the way? >> actually, they said they are open to being a collector for a more kind of mobile system or a smaller subset. when you mentioned technology, i had forgotten to bring up that we have three reverse vending machines where you put your bottle in and get the nickel back, instead of the other way around. it's an old technology that didn't work to well in the '80s that has been revised. if you go to canada or europe, it's very common there, even on the east coast it's very common to. and they have gotten much better machines so you can now put a machine like that in front of the store. >> is that at whole foods at 4th street? >> no, it's at the safeway at 4th street and one at clement and 7th, safeway and one i believe at the marina safeway. >> are they being used? >> yes, they are. >> they are kind of limited, again, if someone comes up with
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a shopping cart it kind of shuts it down, but for the family or for folks, that is kind of the small-scale solution. that if we get the prices of those down, they are a little expensive at the moment. that could provide convenience in a lot of neighborhoods. and then you would need that distribution system to collect it. i think we do have some solutions. >> director dick-endrizzi? >> just to make sure that commissioner ortiz-cartagena, if the supermarket isn't there and then the small businesses in that half-mile radiuss, they are not required to participate in the program. it's just when the supermarket is established, then those businesses are required to participate. does that make sense? >> that makes sense. >> any other commissioner questions before we go to public comment? okay. let's
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open this up to public comment. members of the public, public comment is limited to 3 minutes and there is a timer on the podium. >> welcome. >> hi, my name is ed dunn the executive director of the hank recycling center. the eviction of the hank recycling center might be the elephant in the discussion today. they have been serving the haight-ashbury richmond area since the bottle bill started in the late '80ed. when it closes very soon, those zones and little stores are going to be impacts in the way that was described today. it's no coincident unfortunately former mayor unanimous formulated to get rid of the center. the om one that the city had control of was the one on park
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and rec land. there is a letter written to the commission that says stores will be able to pick up the slack and reference to the reverse vending machine toil. the stores can't pick up the slack and the reverse vending machine technology is really in its infancy and if you talk to the companies that operate it, they say if it gets too well-utilized they have switch to staff and it it's not, they have to switch. we need to get back up to 30-50 locations in the city where people could use and redeem their bottles and cans back. the current recycling centers are well-utilized by a wide mix of people. yes, there is this nuisance component and some backlash to the given sites, but you need them. they are part of the city.
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and whether -- when you operate a center you have to have a good-neighbor policy. it depends on what neighborhood you are in and what the accommodations need to be, but you have to have a good-neighbor policy. so i attended the committee meeting last week. and there was talk of maybe going forward at a requirement when new projects are entitled and new supermarkets that they build in a requirement for new recycling centers. that would be a great future requirement for the city to have. and some of the other stuff that we talked about incentivizing mobile and taking advantage of the bottle bill coming up would be another one. the last thing i would say, i know it's kind of late for hank, but urging all landlords, all supermarkets, parks and recreation to keep all the
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existing recycling centers that we have so we don't create the crisis for the small businesss in the city, until we have another system up and running, seems to be would be the most prudent policy here. this isn't a hypothetical. this is actually happening and there is a rumor that the center at mission street safeway would close and that that would affect a lot of stores there. so the city needs to set an example and keep hank open as along as possible until a new system is in place. thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> next speaker. >> good evening. david pilpa. i really just wanted to thank you for taking the time on this issue both here at your committee and really the work that your executive director regina has done to diffuse this
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issue and deal with the complexity of it, not make it a divisive matter, but to look to the small businesses and the impact there and to help work on this. i really wanted to thank her and you for your efforts working with kevin and others as well. thank you. >> thank you. any other public comment? welcome. >> good evening commissioners, my name is tess wellborn, nice to see you. i heard kevin drew say -- part of solution should be getting them back to stepping up to what they had agreed to back in the '80s. don't let yourselves be put on the short end of the stick here, you know? kick some of it back to them.
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secondly remember that the recycling has many components. there are some people who drop off stuff. there are people who redeem stuff and there is not a lot of money in it. it's a lot of goodness of the heart for people who do this, who care about the environment, and who care about things being reused. thank you. >> thank you. any other public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioners? commissioner dooley? >> we spent a lot of time on this at the outreach committee, and i really appreciate the draft that we have now, but i also thought since the superior markets are the ones that trigger these convenience zones, i was thinking that perhaps not only -- that we
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should not allow supermarkets that have existing recycling, if they change owners, to opt out. you know, that is what we're seeing more and more, a new owner comes in and they say oh, we're not doing that anymore. clearly, for a large supermarket, $100 a day is nothing. and they are going to be happy to opt-out. you know, we have a suggestion for a fee of $500, but i'm not even sure that that is enough for a safeway or a whole foods. perhaps they would be willing to pay $500. i think that i just think that i agree that we need to put this obligation back on those who have created the situation. , as much as we possibly can. i just think it's their civic duty. to step and not ducking like the new traders joes and we don't have a recycling center there and i think it's grossly
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unfair that any new businesses shouldn't take the brunt of this. and frankly i think we should craft it to say any new supermarkets coming in or supermarkets that exist should not be able to opt-out. >> commissioners, would you like for the commission secretary to read through the draft recommendations? do you need that for us to do? again we're still in the discussion phase. so it may be good to sort of take it point by point, so that commissioner dooley, the point that you just brought up relates to the first recommendation. so could you read that into the record, please, chris? >> commissioners, so we have a draft position paper that we're working on, but i have summarized the recommendation portion. and it's broken down into local
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and state recommendations and for local recommendation the small business commission recommends that the planning code or environment code be amended to require that as part of the process that new or suburbly remodeled supermarkets meet one of following criteria. one would be to provide for an on-site qualified convenience zone recycler or require that the superior market provide the resources to open one within the half mile radius of the store and consideration should be given to expand this to all supermarkets whether existing or new. to commissioner dooley's point, additional use authorization or other public hearing should be required prior to the closing of a certified recycling center located on-site of the supermarket. >> so can we just sort of stop there and commissioner dooley's point and i would like to open it up for discussion with the commissioners.
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>> as along as -- i think we have to make it more than just a consideration. :i would be encouraging to say basically all supermarkets. and also, if they are preexisting or now, they just cannot abandon that use. and i am just thinking that i want to state that perhaps a little more strongly and say maybe "consideration" should be more than "consideration." i think we should recommend that. >> mandate. >> commissioner ortiz-cartagena? >> or can we even mandate, okay, then you have to pick up the $500 fee for all the small businesses in the half-mile radius? that would incentivize them to do something, either not to obey their program or implement the program, that way the burden is back on the big box. i am concerned with the $500,
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because bigger companies can absorb that and what we're trying to do is helping the small business and we might end up shooting them in a foot because a company within the half-mile radius might not care and the small business would be wiped out. >> commissioner o'brien? >> do they have any idea of how many entities opt to simply pay this money? and by the way, when they do opt to pay, what takes care of the recycling generated by them, if anything? >> at this point it's actually relatively few. the traders joe at masonic was, but i think they are not any longer. i am not sure what they are doing. they may be redeeming in-store. you can redeem in-store, meaning that you take it back and some stores kind of do that quietly. in other words, they don't put out a big sign and you can quietly redeem in-store and avoid the $100.
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it's a relatively small number in the city. i'm not sure if it's been high enough is to make the stores not do it. they just haven't chosen that option at this point. >> so for those that have done it, we don't have anything to address the waste that they are generated, it's basically accounted for when they elect to pay the fee? >> it's just basically spread out amongst the rest of the city essentially. >> okay. so it seems to me that it is going to require a combination of ideas. i am inclined to agree with commissioner dooley. i don't like being heavy-handed or anything like that, but the environment and the waste is a mandatory matter that has to be addressed because it happens to be reality. so it seems to me
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that certainly existing facilities need to be mandatorily maintained. i don't see how we can avoid it when we know the problem is not going to go away obviously and some other incentives as well to encourage good policy and people returning. it has to be a combination of ideas, but i would go along with the support of strengthening this for supermarkets to be able to have to provide it, certainly with existing facilities. >> well, my concern that i am saying that as our city is becoming more affluent, we're getting more supermarketing coming in that are high-end. and so i just -- you know, i'm concerned that we might see more of these new supermarkets if they have the choice of opting out. you know, because that is just the way the city is going right
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now. space is expensive, and if there is any way for them to not provide the service, i would just think that is going to be happening more and more. >> if we mandate to have them pay the half-mile radius? >> that would be one of their choices, yes. >> director dick-endrizzi? >> so i mean, also just to note that even some of the supermarkets have space limitations, too. there are some that are built on sites that don't have parking and that sort of thing. i am just wondering, the first statements is kind of mandating a discussion with the supermarkets, any new or substantially remodeled that have to go through the planning process. and then as chris read out, consideration be given to expand this policy to all supermarkets. so i have a
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question for you, kevin. right now we have a certain number that are exempted. and according to the state it looks like that they may be removing some of those exemptions. so maybe we need to say, you know, state a little more specifically for supermarkets that lose their exemption status and are not serviced by a recycling center that needs to go through the same sort of discussion. >> what triggers the exempting of a center? >> the closing of a recycling center. it's really the contraction of the recycling that is driving these exemptions. the exemptions were put pplace
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back in the 1990's and that is the reconfiguration of the city and the map to deal with current realities. >> can i ask a follow-up, because i defense attorney didn't realize those were with the exemptions. was that just the old policy? >> that was the old policy that adronicka and whole foods and cala before it and even the safeway got an exemption and others nearby and had that nearby convenience judgment made and it's a judgment call by the staff person in sacramento. i think that there is an opportunity for us to inform the staff in sacramento. they are just kind of guessing to a certain degree, because they are not on the ground here, how it should the lines
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be redrawn? >> would it be possible to make them to the land? >> to the what? >> that the recycle has to be maintained there? >> i'm not sure. i was thinking whether san francisco, for instance, could pass an ordinance that took the existing bottle bill and put stronger rules in it? i thought we could do that, but i was told by someone that we're superseding state law and the stores would argue that you can't do that. so i'm not sure. i can't really answer that? >> i think the best way to go about it is to petition the state to carve out something for san francisco? is that our best approach? >> i wish i would say there was -- there is an existing collaborative process. it's pretty much you say things to the state and they kind of respond. it would be ideal to have a
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slightly more collaborative approach and actually, i think where we, the greater extent that we come up with something here, that we can propose to them, the better. and if we shape the state law a little bit with these amendments that are the opportunity for amendments, for instance, raising the in-lieu fee from $100 to $500 or some higher number will give us more tools. like i said, we're sort of in new turf and no one has done this before. i know we can put our mine totses to minds together and come up with good ideas. the situation in san diego did -- i don't know if it requires legislation, but the legislators there got a bill passed in state to set that up
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and it affected recycling center because we're in a city and county. for instance the convenience zone was expanded to a mile in one instance. >> i have maybe a recommendation for the item commissioner dooley, instead of "consideration," but to request that the department of environment have plans in place for -- a plan in place for existing supermarkets around the convenience zone or creating a recycle center or recycling on-site, with a priority of working with those supermarkets that currently have an exempt status and may be losing it. this is separate from for new
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and remodeled supermarkets, a recommendation is that that discussion and plan will be triggered through the entitlement process. but for existing supermarkets where they are not going to go through the entitlement process, i think, at the committee meeting, as you had noted, there is the interest to start working with those supermarkets to start putting a plan in place. does that make sense? >> yes. actually one of the difficulties with the hank situation, because it's been unfolding over many years and i have been in touch with the whole foods and andronickos and they were never really motivated as [hro-pbgs/] as along as the center was there to do anything. they were glad not to have a recycling center on their parking lot, but they weren't ready to go to meetings and
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space. those issues just weren't happening. >> i heard that commissioner o'brien was a little uncomfortable mandating because there will be -- there might -- the recycling center at market street as the housing gets developed and right now there, there will be pressures on it as well. >> i have a question, if there is an existing supermarket site right now, that has recycling. can they at any time just abandon that and pay the fee? that is sort of my concern how that works? >> yes.
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the answer is yes. i mean, the state law does not have enough teeth to be able to stop it. it happens, and there is notification that goes out from state to that supermarket or to the surrounding stores to do something about it. it's very -- it's just not strong teeth in it. it's more optional. >> that is kind of where my concern is. that if we're seeing a dwindling amount of places to recycle and some of those are supermarkets, is that some kind of language we can put in to discourage or whatever, mandate that people that have it right now cannot abandon that? >> >> do you know how many there are? >> i don't. >> the case of one that existed yesterday and doesn't
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today is because the new owners didn't have to deal with it. show up on their radar. are there some that are operating and then decide not to operate? >> there are instance where's the recycling center just gets closed usually because there is complaints from a neighbor or something like that. we actually did just hear on friday from next cycle which operates about nine of the centers in the city that they received word from safeway, that in the excelsior, at mission street was asked to close because they found it to be difficult. and actually this is at a very early stage and a lot of negotiations happen. just because they say that, doesn't mean it's going to happen, but it's an example of
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a kind of unilateral decision on the store to attempt to do that. >> right. >> correct. >> i don't know where we want to place ourselves on that part of the issue, but i think it's something that we should think about. >> so i think since we're not really working to pass something out today. >> right. >> i think what we can do is sort of take the intent of both commissioner dooley and commissioner o'brien and work on some for the -- something for the final policy? >> yes. >> it was currently written a conditional use authorization or public hearing was required prior to the center. so if a conditional use was required because they could close that, would that address your concern?
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>> do they require a conditional use? >> that is something that we could explore before the next outreach committee. >> that is good direction on the intent. >> commissioner yee riley? >> i have a question. now when we asked a recycling center to close, do we have any plan to meet the need of that community? >> i have been working with both with existing supermarkets, in discussions with them and with other -- basically it's looking for land. or looking for a parking lot or vacant space, in the case of the hank center, to try to find some locations for either a temporary or a mobile or a permanent site. this is the first situation like this that we have faced where we had

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